x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Transfer talk: Aquilani agent claims deal in place to leave Liverpool for Fiorentina

The agent of Alberto Aquilani claims a deal is in place with Liverpool to take the midfielder to Fiorentina.

Liverpool

The agent of Alberto Aquilani claims a deal is in place with Liverpool to take the midfielder to Fiorentina.

The 27-year-old Italy international, a £17m signing from Roma in 2009, appears surplus to requirements at Anfield and is widely expected to leave on a season-long loan.

Aquilani's agent, Franco Zavaglia, has revealed the deal now hinges only on the player agreeing personal terms with the Serie A club. Aquilani has made only 28 appearances for Liverpool since joining them in 2008.

Aston Villa

Alex McLeish has confirmed that Aston Villa are close to signing Charles N'Zogbia from Wigan Athletic.

The Villa manager has announced they are edging towards capturing N'Zogbia in a deal thought to be worth around £9.5 million (Dh57.8m), with a medical seemingly the only obstacle to the Frenchman completing the move.

"The deal hasn't been fully done yet," the Scot said during an Asia Trophy press conference in Hong Kong yesterday.

"He still has to complete a medical. I believe everything else is just about there. I think it's a great addition to the squad. He's an explosive player and he gives us a little bit of quality to replace one or two of the guys that have left the club."

Blackburn Rovers

Steve Kean does not expect any further departures from Ewood Park before the start of the Premier League season and is confident of bringing in a number of new faces.

Rovers lost Phil Jones to Manchester United, but while there has speculation about Chris Samba leaving, the Rovers manager said: "We don't have to sell before we buy because we're trying to keep the majority of the squad together. It is a fixed budget, it's competitive and will bring in players of good quality."

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom need to tighten their defence if they are to avoid another relegation battle in the new season, the manager Roy Hodgson has told his players.

The Midlands side finished a creditable 11th last season, but they allowed 71 goals in 38 games. Only relegated Blackpool let in more, with 78 goals against.

If you are talking about soft goals and defensive errors and goals conceded, we've got a lot of work to do, all of us, myself and the coaching staff with the players we've got," Hodgson said. "It's a team thing. We've got to concede less free-kicks, maybe concede less corners, defend them better, and in general be stronger, defensively."

Newcastle United

Alan Pardew has said he will not be rushed into buying a new striker before the start of the season. Newcastle sold Andy Carroll to Liverpool for £35m in January and have yet to bring in fresh blood up front.

But the Newcastle manager said he was not going to buy in a panic. "We do not want to miss out. We have been trying to bring a striker in for a while. We are ahead of the game," he said. "We know exactly what the market is and we will pitch in when it is right."

Stoke City

Tony Pulis has confirmed that Ryan Shawcross will remain as Stoke captain this season and has backed him to get back in the England squad.

The defender's only previous call-up was 18 months ago, and Pulis, the Stoke manager, said: "He's got that carrot dangling in front of him in the shape of the European Championships. If he has a top, top season with us, there's no reason why he can't get into the England squad in time for that."